Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared Oct. 8, 2003.
Dear Carolyn: I dated a girl who had some major problems, but I fell in love with the best in her and put a lot of effort into the relationship. Eventually we broke up, and within a few months she was living with the guy she had dated before me. She quickly became unhappy with him and made overtures to reconcile with me — do you detect a pattern?
At first I was receptive, and allowed her to stay with me when he was out of town, but grew suspicious when she wouldn't move out of his home.
She gave a variety of excuses that didn't ring true. This went on for months; she even lied to her own mother to go away with me.
Finally I couldn't stomach her lack of integrity any longer and stopped seeing her. She's now engaged to the guy she repeatedly and enthusiastically cheated on.
I'm not surprised, because she was desperate to settle down and he's probably as blind to her faults as I was.
Should I tell him the truth about his trifling fiancee? I'd want him to tell me.
J.T.: If he’s “as blind to her faults” as you were, then he knows exactly what they are.
You not only knew; you were complicit! You just told yourself . . . actually, I don’t know what line you used, but “for months” you worked to keep her despite the [mutual] moral decay.
Assume her fiance feels the same way and stay out of it. His bride sounds bad enough; the last thing he needs is for the guy she used to cheat with to come galloping in to save him.
Dear Carolyn: I'm 25, a guy and a virgin. It's not that I don't put a very high premium on sex — I actually think real and complete intimacy with a woman is one of the best things in life — but sex isn't something I want to share with a lot of women.
I want to wait until I'm married, or at least on the way there. It's not out of prudishness or discomfort with sex but precisely because I place such a high value on it that I want to wait.
My problem is that I don't seem to meet any women who feel the same way, and I'm beginning to wonder if there are any anymore. I've met virgins, but they tend to think of sex as a terrible sin or, what's worse, they tend to be unspeakably boring (they've got no FIRE).
Have I just painted myself into a totally unreasonable corner here? How can I figure out what to give up?
— New York, N.Y.
New York, N.Y.: Two ideas that strike me as easy ones to give up: that the virgins you know can speak for the ones you don’t — and that virgins are the only women who put a high value on sex and intimacy.
There is no shortage of people who share your conclusion on this; some of them just made different choices en route and arrived there by roads different from yours.